I know this question is similar to the 'most amazing place' post, but I wanted to limit my search to just cities. If you could spend 3 months somewhere, which city would it be? Prague? Florence? Tokyo? Paris. Purely in terms of beauty/places to explore (as opposed to 'things to do' or "most modern" or what have you). I'm looking for a very historically rich place to spend a few months. Preferrably with a nice mix between historical/natural beauty without being too far removed from some of the modern niceties. A good example city is Prague. Any others that people really love? (exlcuding american cities)
I like Kuala Lumpur. From the Batu Caves(I hope that's right) and Ghenting Park to the Petronas Towers and the Malaysian Grand Prix. KL is a city that I fell in love with the first time I visited, and have stayed infatuated with since then.
KL has all the modern amenities of any city in the Western World such as a City Train, Malls, A beautiful international airport, well developed roadways and highways.. Along with that it has plenty of older cultural buildings and unspoilt areas. Buddhist Temples dot the landscape, as do a variety of different architectural styles from huge Mosques to Traditional Chinese Family houses.
Heh, if I go on much more I'll sound like a tourism worker, so I'll stop now, but I really love that city.
Well, for anyone who has read some of my posts in the Europe travel forum, I'd have to say Paris! When I first got there, it just had this amazing energy. I know it may sound kind of odd, but it felt like home. That could be in part because of the French language (I live in Montreal and French is spoken widely here, albeit a different dialect), but I think it was because it was one of those love at first site moments. Once I got to know the "personality" of the city, I loved it even more! (lol, that's my twisted little metaphor).
The architecture was absolutely amazing, from the classic to the modern, and the people were remarkable and personable. Whether I was sitting on the grass admiring the Eiffel Tower, or strolling the streets of the Latin Quarter, everything just seemed to fall into place. I loved how you could just wake up and decide to go to one section of the city, explore, and then go to another section and find something completely different.
What's great about Paris is that it's a normal (although I use that term loosely) big city, but then you find some green treasures like the Jardins du Luxembourg or the Bois du Boulonge within the city limits. It has everything!
I could gush about this place for ages, and I hope that you find a place to live that means as much to you!
For me the most beautiful countries are Jaisalmer, Varanasi and Amritsar. All of them are in the sweet India and have a powerful energy. These are wonderful and magic places, go to visit them if you have a opportunity.
Gerard from Barcelona
How about St. Petersburg? I have never been but Pete says it's the most beautiful city he's ever visited....
I'd say Beijing is the most beautiful city on my list.
Can you imagine the feeling of standing on the hill behind the Forbidden City at evening , seeing the great architecture under the setting sun, how magnificent the scene is goin' to be, how breathtaking you are goin' to feel?:D it's the most wonderful feeling i gained
and you are looking for a place with history, I strongly recommend Beijing, it's a very modern city with 3000 years history, you'll fullfill your goals in everyway in this fabulous city
hey, i was in praque in march and just got back from paris today. you practically can't do anything wrong with either of them! they're just great!
paris of course is more oriented in a western way and its great to dig into the flow of the city exploring the "sights" that are not on a tourist map (i.e. you should check out the indian quarter between "la chapelle" and "gare du nord").
if money is an issue paris is the wrong city to pick though! its EXPENSIVE, especially food!
praque is much cheaper and gives a great impression of what this city has once been and what it has gone thru.
an alternative might be hanoi (if you like it a little bit exotic). i have never been there yet, but the national geographic published a great article on hanoi in its may issue (at least if all the international issues hold the same articles... at least the german version contained that article and it has probably been published either before or at the same time in the US version - as it was originally written by an american).
To spend three months for the pure beauty I would say Ravello on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. But I would also be happy to spend three months in Venice (outside of the turist season) or Rome. I know Stockholm very well, since I lived there for years, but it is undoubtedly very beautiful, and if i haven't lived there I would spend 3 months there admiring its beauty. I have been to St Petersburg, but long time ago, and big parts of it were pretty grim. Vilnius in Lithuania is pretty, though, despite commies. I don't know Asia as a turist - i have been on business trips to Bejing, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapure. They were all exciting and exotic - but pure beauty? No.
I have been to maybe 14, 15 major cities.
Here is some of them in no particular order some good, some
some great and one bad.
1. Prague 2004 visit - Amazing Architecture all over the centre of the city, literally everywhere you turn it is an eye opener and though I am not a complete troglodyte I am not quite the artistic type either and yet I would have to say I was taken with the beautiful buildings which are literally everywhere you turn, also really cheap beer, beer works out on average (you can get cheaper) approx 50p,€.75, $.90, not bad when in Ireland where I'm from originally I believe in some bars in Dublin you could be paying over €5 and in the UK - where I live at about £2.20 to £2.50. Also you can go out for a decent meal at one of the many restaurants in Prague at about half the price it would cost you in Western Europe, and the other thing public transport is dirt cheap, you can get a ticket valid for I think about 60 mins. for 24p that you can go the metro to anywhere, the metro is pretty good and frequent. The one part I have to say I was slightly disappointed in was I heard how good looking the Czech girls were, not saying there wasn’t good looking girls there but I can safely say that the find the best looking women in Europe you still need to go further east in Europe. Prague is quite touristy but in most places it is not tackily so, I’d have no hesitation in recommending it either to a diverse range of people from an elderly couple to a group of young guys or girls going for a fun weekend.
2. Vienna 2001 – Again Amazing Architecture – Unfortunately had only a few hours here but I was literally mind blown by what I saw, it was like something out of Cinderella. What people forget was this city once was one of the most important cities in the world being the capital city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the grandeur of the city is still all there, the cost of a beer there you are talking a bit on the high end of European Union Prices – roughly the same as Irish Prices. Talent was average - noticed the difference from going from Hungary to Austria but as ever you can see enough to be happy with
3. Zagreb 2001 – Not the most attractive city think all the effects of communism haven’t helped, but the very centre was quite nice, the people I found to be very friendly but only had a day there to judge, the place had a bit of a buzz to it, even though it is still relatively poor had a feeling that both Zagreb and the country of Croatia was on it’s way up, I would have to say the Croatian people are a handsome race, taking into account both sexes probably the best looking in Europe, so whether you area guy or a girl you should be very pleased with the talent in Croatia. If I remember right drink and food was quite reasonable as well.
4. Ljubljana 2001 – Nice small capital city – wasn’t there long – had a nice feel to the place though, had a nice meal there for a very reasonable price, for talent wasn’t there long enough to judge but looked pretty good could be up there with Croatia.
5. Budapest 2001 – Hmmm… bit of a mixed bag is Budapest - Drove there from Croatia – the view of the city when you first see it down the valley is amazing, again in Budapest some really amazing architecture particularly the bridges but a lot of grubby areas in the city as well –graffiti was everywhere and it really detracted from the place - Ok now I did say the Croatian people were the best looking I came across in Europe but that would be including both the men and women because the Hungarian women really do have it going on and have probably that bit more sex appeal than even the Croatian women but it is a close call, about 50% of them were phoar material and they seemed pretty friendly as well, other good things about Budapest was it was a lot less touristy than the likes of Prague – though overall if you had to go visit one Prague has got more going for it, but Budapest is worth checking out for the women alone. Oh almost forgot had probably the nicest, cheapest and even healthiest snack food there.
6. London – Hmmm… Not exactly the most friendliest city in the world to put it mildly, the general consensus of people I’ve talked to both who like or dislike the place is that if you have a lot of money in London it can be a great place it has got everything you want – but I emphasise money is the key but even if I had more of the green stuff I think I could pick any number of places over London. Talent – Don’t rate it highly and those that tended to have looks don’t tend to be very friendly either.
7. Dublin – Well Dublin my capital city, what do I have to say about it.. A city I know so well. I lived in Dublin for about 9 years and lived in many parts of it so I know the good, the bad and the ugly. Anytime I have read reviews from other people about Dublin I quite often see them raving about how great it is or else it ends up getting slated, to me like most cities the truth is somewhere in between,
a. Dublin is often quoted as being a friendly city – I would have to agree with this but I would say it’s more relative to in comparison with other capital cities, you still need to get into the smaller cities and towns to get a real friendly atmosphere but in general I would have to say we Irish are a friendly people but as always there are exceptions.
b. Dublin is expensive – Absolutely definitely - food and drink in particular, I would say drink prices in Dublin are on average about 30 to 40% dearer than UK prices with the exception of London maybe, Food is quite dear, though there is plenty of good restaurants serving just about any type of food you could want , you can get good food for a not too expensive price if you look around. Public transport is in general quite good I think, it is pretty frequent on most routes and the Dart (Dublin’s city rail) is comfortable, in comparison to UK public transport is the one area where I find Dublin is both cheaper and better.
c. There’s little to see in terms of great buildings in Dublin – Think a bit unfair but in comparison to big historical capital cities like London, Paris and Vienna Dublin can’t really compete.
d. What Dublin has really got going for it is the buzz to the place – it is a very cosmopolitan city with young people from many parts of Europe and also a large Chinese and Nigerian community, Ireland’s official languages are Irish and English but Chinese is actually the 2nd most spoken language after English, don’t be surprised in 20 years time if the Irish soccer team will turn up with some funny players Paddy Chong as left back and Nwakanu O’Reilly as a striker is not too unrealistic.
i. There is plenty to do here, lots of different types of nightclubs to suit every taste, plenty of pubs of course – many staying open late, some even during the week. Dublin is frenetic, it’s a very busy city with the streets always crowded, it’s meant to have a population round the million mark but it seems a lot more to me, traffic can be a nightmare though.
e. The talent here – well – ok have to try to be neutral here, I wouldn’t rate it as high as Budapest or Zagreb but in Western European terms I would say it compares favourably, a walk down Grafton street will make any red blooded male’s head turn, hmm yes safe to say I miss those times.. hope my English girlfriend doesn’t get to read this
f. Places to stay – this is a generalisation but there is a large amount of truth to it, in general unless you know specifically where you are going in Dublin I would say stay in the Southside of Dublin, either near the city centre – enquire about your particular area though! Or places close to city centre like Donnybrook, Ballsbridge, Ranelagh, Rathmines or a bit further out Blackrock, places to avoid staying in the main one I can think of is Gardiner Street . If you are going to stay in the Northside of the city the places I can think of are Clontarf and Howth.
g. Funnily enough a lot of it’s tourists tend to be retired Americans who I am sure find something of what they are looking for there but Dublin in truth is probably best suited to the young or those up for partying of any age just make sure you bring enough money to enjoy your partying.
Amsterdam 2000 - It’s got every kind of vice you want to indulge in from the red light district to café bars with all kinds of legalised dope, this may be your idea of heaven or hell I am not going to judge either way but the chilled out atmosphere of the place I did like, beers if I remember right are about the EU Average. Things to watch out for are all those trams and bikes criss-crossing the place I actually saw a deaf girl getting knocked over by a bicycle because the cyclist didn’t stop and she couldn’t hear him shouting to get out of the way. Amsterdam has several nice buildings and galleries, overall if you are an open minded sort you’ll probably like it, if you frown on the excesses of life well maybe it’s not for you. Talent – Plenty of buxom blondes as you would expect again though not up to Budapest or Zagreb still better than the average in western Europe.
Of all the places I have mentioned I would recommend all except London, some with some reservations as I have described.
If I had to go to visit one tomorrow which one would it be, hmm it’s a toughie I would have to say Vienna though I only got to see the place for 3 hours and it was a place I think in which you could revel in the splendour in it for weeks and got a feeling that it had plenty to offer. Think this is a city if it plays it’s cards right could once again be known as a great city, it lies right in the heart of Europe and with Eastern Europe an up and coming region it should see benefits.
In summary I would go for Vienna for beauty, Dublin for buzz and atmosphere, Amsterdam for anything goes and Prague because it's got a lot to offer to just about anyone.